Our Fitness Blog
Common Fitness Mistakes That Lead to Injuries
Did you know that every year more than 174,000 women end up in the emergency room due to a fitness related injury? According to Dr. Joseph Horrigan, a board certified chiropractic sports medicine practitioner at DISC Sports & Spine Center in Los Angeles the main reason for these injuries is over enthusiasm. He feels that a lot of women who are fitness newbies feel great when they start to train and end up pushing themselves too far too fast. When you combine overdoing it with our natural competitive streak, it often leads to injuries. As we all know, there are many ways we can injure ourselves while working out. Here we will take a look at some of the more common exercise mistakes and look at ways to avoid and correct them.
It is important to have the correct posture for any type of workout. It helps you make sure that each muscle is working in unison with the others and carrying the weight that it should. When you use the wrong posture, you throw the entire system out of whack and not only ruin the effectiveness of your workout but set yourself up for unnecessary injuries. If you are standing, sitting or stretching the wrong way, you can pull a muscle, cause yourself days, weeks, or even months of soreness or even worse. You can injure your back, neck or shoulders or any muscle that you happen to be putting any excess stress on or overusing.
If you are in a class, your instructor may point out when you are not in correct posture; however, if you do not have an instructor or personal trainer, it is up to you to watch out for your posture. You can definitely notice after your routine if you are in the wrong posture. You can feel the aches in your body, but you want to get a hold of it before then. You can use the mirror to watch yourself and see if you are falling out of the correct posture; however, this can be difficult if you are focused on keeping your heart pumping or how many more sets you need to do. For most of us it would be a lot easier to have an instructor in the beginning to help us make the proper posture a habit before exercising on our own.
As Dr. Horrigan said we reach too far past our limits too soon. We are competitive and do not want to fall behind in class, even if others have been there a lot longer than we have. As a beginner, you should expect to be on a lower level in class than others who have been there much longer, even if you are in typically great shape. As a newbie, you may be unclear on your limits, and many fitness classes these days tell us in order to achieve the best results possible we need to push ourselves past our limits. You should never get too caught up in this and remember to never ignore your body when it is telling you something is wrong. Those pain signals mean something, and usually it means that you are about to injure yourself or it is too late and you have already caused an injury.
It is easy to look around in your fitness class and see others who may be doing better than you, but you need to remember this is okay. Everyone is at a different level, and no one is perfect. You need to focus on yourself and work on improving your own performance. However, do not base your performance on what others are doing. You should consider all the advancements you are making and feel proud of how well you are progressing. If you focus on you, you will begin to notice how much you have improved and allow yourself to see how your fitness program has benefited you, which in the end is not only a great way to avoid injuries but also a perfect way to stay motivated in your fitness routine.
Stretching in your warm up
Most of us believe that you should stretch during your warm up. However, did you know that this can cause injuries? If your body is in the warm up stage of exercising, then your muscles are cold and not very flexible. It is just like warming up your car before heading to work. You need to get your muscles prepared and ready for stretching just as you need to get your engine prepared and ready for a long drive. You are more prone to pull a muscle if you stretch during the warmup of your fitness routine because your muscles are not as loose as they would be if they were already nice and warm.
You may do some light stretching during your warm up, but it is best to wait until your body is fully warmed up to try any regular or heavy stretching. A good warm up routine is something that gradually gets your body moving and ready for your upcoming exercise routine. You can always add stretching to the middle of your workout, if you do not want to wait until your cool down and if it does not slow your heart rate too much. It is up to you, but you need to listen to your body. If it is saying you are not ready to hold a certain stretch this long or this far, then it is best to ease up and work on it later to avoid any injuries.
When we workout, we are trying to stay fit and healthy, the last thing we want is to injure ourselves. This can cause us to take an unplanned break from our fitness routines or putting an end to our fitness plans altogether. It is difficult to obtain the results we want and pushing ourselves harder and farther than normal seems to be the quickest and best way to achieve our desired results. However, for many of us this leads to injuries. It is up to us to pay attention to our fitness routines and listen to our bodies to avoid these injuries. It can be hard in the beginning to understand what our bodies are telling us, but we need to stick to our fitness routines and learn how well our bodies can adapt to our routines in order to finally reach our goals.